Tuesday, 10 March 2009
What ever happened to Eurovision as a happy, shiny vision of a united Europe?
As Russia prepares itself to host the annual music competition in May this year, political differences between Russia and its neighbours look set to threaten the organisers’ vision of the show as a happy manifestation of united Europe. And not just because of tactical voting and deal making to ensure another Russian win.
The Russian entrant, Anastasia Prihkodko, winner of Star Factory (other famous alumni include Dima Bilan, last year’s winner) has come under fire from the Russian media for singing in a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian. Although the singer won at the preselection committee with over 25% of the votes, the choice as been dubbed a scandal, with many echoing the opinion that «a song performed in Ukrainian can't have anything to do with Russia.» As Russian relations with Ukraine are decidedly frosty at the moment it does seem a slightly odd choice, but pretty suggestive that the Russian public is rather less anti-Ukraine than their leaders.
Rather more scandalous is Georgia's choice of Eurovision entry, 'We don't wanna put in' by Stefane and 3G. (See video clip above.) The group, which is made up of Stefan and three sparkly-hot panted girls, hotly deny that the song has any political implications: « Those who can speak English language at least at the level of 5th grade of school should realize that lyrics has absolutely nothing to do with Russia.» However the lyrics «We don't wanna Put in» when sung in strong accented English do sound remarkably like «We don't want Putin», and have already got the Russian's knickers in a bit of a twist.
The Russian prime-minister press secretary, Dmitry Peskov stated: "If this information is true, we regret that participants from Georgia do not intend to concentrate on musical quality, trying instead to use this popular European competition to showcase their pseudo-political ambitions, or, more simply, for mere hooliganism. We hope that these Georgian guests of the Moscow Eurovision will decide to perform a real, beautiful song, since… Georgian culture is very rich in these"
It is not yet clear whether the Eurovision committee, which forbids the performance of any politically motivated songs, will allow Stefan and his girls to go ahead with their entry. In any case, we can be fairly sure, that the song will be receiving nul points from the Russian hosts.